Tradition must continue—of writing and reading thereof. While it is understood that the debate will be around on the mode–print or digital, it must not affect the age-old tradition. Let’s not even decide whether or not it is in the larger interest.
It should, however, be left to the discretion of the reader as to what media s/he is comfortable with. The readers may be in love with the printed books (which, in my opinion, will reduce to a significant numbers in the course of time but will not vanish) or may choose to browse through content over a laptop, tablet, an e-reader.
It results in further complexity at author level who in most cases is in tizzy to select a medium to establish his/her reach in the reader community. But it should be a short term phenomenon. Change never comes easy. It leaves many hearts shattered and so in the case of print and digital debate. The conservatives who have seen and lived the print age to the bloom will relent. But this can be understood and taken easy.
The new age writers are equipped with the latest technology and have in most cases learnt to cater to their tech-savvy audience through popular platforms like Twitter.com, Facebook.com, and Youtube.com, etc, among other things. However, it might be a constraint in few cases. The gap can certainly be fulfilled. And it will be fulfilled by the time itself. The conservative authors will eventually fall in line or vanish in the paucity of readers. E-readers, laptops, smartphones, tablets are the growing reality and must be welcome.
Among all things, my concern is only on the tradition of instinctive, serious writing which should not vanish in the race of cheap, fast publicity that the new media bring in. Authors should not rush to publishing hastily. I know the powers of a publisher are fast shifting to authors. They can create ebooks fast, publish at once, circulate quickly in the group and sell online. But they need to slog to create best-written content—stories, novels, non-fiction, essays, poems, etc. Why I insist on this so much is because the basics of writings have not changed and will not change. Originality, quality, imagination and seriousness will only make a writing piece praiseworthy or criticism-worthy.
The readers are in the want of good, very good content at the end of the day. They can not be taken for granted. Any non-serious attempt does add distaste to a reader’s mind and asks him/her not to come back to your writing pieces. It is necessary for the tradition of writing and reading thereof.